Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM

Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Anysha M. Walia, Christopher K. Fairley, Catriona S. Bradshaw, Marcus Y. Chen, Eric P.F. Chow

First published: 31 August 2020
https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13029
Abstract:

Objectives: Accessible health services are a key element of effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) control. This study aimed to examine whether there were any differences in accessing sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men (MSM) in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross‐sectional study of MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between 2016 and 2019. Demographic characteristics, sexual practices, HIV testing practices and STI diagnoses were compared between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM.

Results: We included 5,085 Medicare‐eligible and 2,786 Medicare‐ineligible MSM. Condomless anal sex in the past 12 months was more common in Medicare‐eligible compared to Medicare‐ineligible MSM (74.4% vs. 64.9%; p<0.001) although the number of partners did not differ between groups. There was no difference in prior HIV testing practices between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM (76.1% vs. 77.7%; p=0.122). Medicare‐ineligible MSM were more likely to have anorectal chlamydia compared to Medicare‐eligible MSM (10.6% vs. 8.5%; p=0.004).

Conclusions: Medicare‐ineligible MSM have less condomless sex but a higher rate of anorectal chlamydia, suggesting they might have limited access to STI testing or may be less willing to disclose high‐risk behaviour.

Implications for public health: Scaling up access to HIV and STI testings for Medicare‐ineligible MSM is essential.

How sexual assault survivors can feel in control during cervical screenings

ABC Life By Kellie Scott / 12th August 2020
Kate* avoids cervical screenings.The 34-year-old from Sydney is a survivor of sexual assault and finds the physical examination re-traumatising.

Kate’s experience is not unique.

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. And research shows those who have experienced sexual abuse, either as adults or children, are less likely to attend regular cervical screening.

Online training: Hepatitis C in Primary Care

ASHM, August 2020

This training aims to provide participants with the knowledge and confidence to pursue the management of HCV in their primary care setting.

Primary care providers can play a critical role in the elimination of hepatitis C in Australia by 2030.

This workshop will provide an overview of the management of HCV in primary care
settings, including case finding, testing, patient assessment and treatment.

Learning Objectives:

• Identify priority populations for HCV screening
• Order and interpret tests appropriately to diagnose chronic HCV infection
• Describe the recommended pre-treatment assessment
• Demonstrate understanding of antiviral therapy for treatment of HCV
• Communicate confidently with patients about HCV

Webinar Presenter: Dr Alireza Ahmavand, General Practitioner, Arafura Medical Clinics – Casuarina

Target Audience:
General Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners, nurses, primary care-based practitioners
and other health care workers.

When: Wednesday 19 August 2020 7.30pm – 9.00pm AEST  (7 – 9.30 pm ACST)

Delivered online, free

This activity is allocated 3 activity points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the
2020-2022 Triennium.

For further details or assistance contact: Molly Stannard

 

Case report: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder & myelopathy in patient with preserved CD4, but high viral load

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and HIV-associated myelopathy in a patient with a preserved CD4, but high viral load-a rarely reported phenomenon: a case report and literature review. 

Ayele, B.A., Amogne, W. & Gemechu, L.

BMC Infect Dis 20, 574 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05297-9

This case supports the current understanding regarding the persistent occurrence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and HIV-associated myelopathy even decades after introduction of cART. Therefore, it’s important to screen HIV+ patients for the HAND and HAM even if they have relatively preserved immunity.

Because patient can be easily shifted to ART drugs with better CNS penetrating potential to achieve acceptable virological suppression level, to observe sound clinical improvement.

Baby born with “avoidable” congenital syphilis: experts

InDaily, June 04, 2020

The recent birth of a child in South Australia with congenital syphilis, despite the mother being previously diagnosed and treated for the sexually transmitted infection, has prompted SA Health concern about the quality of the treatment.

[A] public health alert [sent by SA Health] “reminds and advises health practitioners of their responsibilities” in managing syphilis cases and contacts.

General practitioner at not-for-profit sexual health service SHINE SA Amy Moten said the case was “significant” because it was an avoidable outcome.

New ‘Syphilis Is Still Out There’ Campaign for Health Professionals

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) & SHINE SA, May 2020

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) and SHINE SA have released a new social media campaign for health professionals.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of syphilis screening and treatment during COVID-19.

  • Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign for Health Professionals

While we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the syphilis outbreak in South Australia continues. It’s essential that we continue to test, treat, cure and notify partners during this time.

To learn more visit www.shinesa.org.au/syphilisoutbreak

  • Social Media Tiles and Posters

To help support this campaign and reinforce key messages around syphilis prevention and treatment, we have a range of social media tiles and posters to download.

Help us share this campaign by downloading our social media tiles to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #SyphilisIsStillOutThere

Download the files here as a zipped folder: Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign

Key Messages of this Campaign 

  • Syphilis is still out there #SyphilisIsStillOutThere
  • Syphilis outbreak minimised in 4 steps: test, treat, cure and notify partners
  • Syphilis is still threatening unborn children. Know when to test before, during and after pregnancy

  • For the Community

Stay tuned: whilst this campaign is aimed at health professionals, AHCSA are currently producing resources to share on social media targeted towards community members.

To stay up-to-date follow AHCSA on Facebook.